Calls for more mental health help

Mental Health

Some doctors say Canada needs a new way to address mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, especially as pandemic-related issues take an ongoing toll.

Doctor Paul Kurdyak, a psychiatrist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, says more publicly funded psychotherapy would help meet the demand, especially because most people can't afford the high cost of appointments.

Kurdyak says a two-and-a-half year pilot project by the centre and three other psychiatric hospitals in Ontario was based on a government-funded program introduced in England over a decade ago.

He says its findings were so promising that the project could be expanded across Ontario and perhaps the country.

The program funded by the National Health Service in England involves training undergraduates who may have no medical education in cognitive behavioural therapy.

Margaret Eaton, head of the Canadian Mental Health Association, applauds federal online programs offering mental health support during the pandemic but is calling for a funding boost to community services so people can learn ongoing coping strategies.

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